Coach Egbunike stands firmly and watches his athletes train, carefully scrutinizing their technique and form. His posture and expression tell the story of a man acutely aware that his team is in the midst of two of their most daunting tournaments this season.
On April 27, the Lancers finished in sixth place in the men’s competition and fifth place in the women’s competition at the South Coast Conference Prelims and Championships at El Camino College.
Despite a mediocre team outcome, several individual Lancers performed in exemplary fashion. Additionally, the Lancers yielded better results this year than at last year’s championships. Coach Innocent Egbunike acknowledged this improvement and hopes it is indicative of further success in the future.
“Considering how we did last year, we did much better. The goal is that it will continue to get better. That’s the vision and the dream. That the team will continue to do better. It’s a blessing to see some of the athletes rise to the level they’re at right now,” Egbunike said.
The team scored its most impressive marks in a handful of events, including the men’s 400 meter dash, in which Sophomore Brennan Doyle captured first place. Doyle had seized the top spot during the preliminaries as well, foreshadowing his eventual Finals triumph.
“Friday went really well, better than I thought. I expected that I was going to win League, and I did,” Doyle said.
Sophomore Martin Swan also contributed one of the team’s most impressive performances, coming in third place in the 110 meter hurdles. Swan had secured second place in his heat during the preliminaries but was unable to repeat in Finals.
“As far as my individual events, I had just the 110 hurdle race. I did close to my personal best this season, but I ended up running slower on Friday in the same race,” said Swan. “But I still ended up making top three so I’m running this week.”
Both Swan and Doyle played roles in the Lancers’ success in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, with the team capturing fourth place in the former and third place in the latter. The Lancers secured fifth place in both the Women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays as well.
The Lancers competed in the Southern California prelims Saturday and are gearing up for the subsequent Southern California Finals this coming Saturday, April 12.